EAN was modeled after UPC and was established in 1977, for European countries of free economies. The original member nations included:
France, Germany, England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Netherland and Austria. Japan and Spain joined the following year. Australia later joined in 1989.
Since then numerous other nations have joined from around the globe making it the most popular and standardized common product code in use today.
(See Flag for a list of member nations and their corresponding Flag codes.)
The name of management organization is EAN International, soon to become GS1.
EAN Code System
|Flag (nation code)||2 or 3 digits|
|Maker Code||5 or 4 digits|
|Item Code of the Product||5 digits|
Summary of EAN Symbol
|Length of symbol||Fixed|
|Checkdigit||Needed (modulus 10)|
|Character Density||5.4 to 2.1 chars/cm|
In EAN symbol, there are 3 types of characters to one numeric data.
- Left side Odd Parity
- Left side Even Parity
- Right side Even Parity
EAN Symbol expresses 13 digits by 12 characters. The first digit is called prefix, it has no character, but designated by the combination of Odd Parity and Even Parity, in the left 6 characters.